If concern is only for ‘disappearances in the future’ Maithri-Ranil ‘s political future too can disappear..!

-By Sandaruwan Senadheera

(Lanka-e-News - 19.Sep.2017,11.30PM) Following the announcement made by Prime Minister (P.M.) Ranil Wickremesinghe regarding  the proposed Commission based on the agreement which  has now been signed pertaining to missing persons, that  the proposed enactment will not have retrospective operation and will apply to the future disappearances only , has incurred the disillusionment and displeasure of  the masses that made supreme sacrifices to elect the good governance government .

After  Lanka e news posted  the report revealing P.M.’s statement  , Sri Lankans within and outside the country in large numbers  expressed their resentment against the government over this announcement to Lanka e news via phone.

In a nutshell …

It is of course true history is written by those who won the war , and not by the vanquished.  In the same way , the victors have never become wrongdoers owing to the war . Therefore the question is not which government was in power when the war was fought , rather it is for the present government to understand and address  the issues as victors.

It is an indisputable fact that the issue of missing persons  is not relating only to those who disappeared during the war. It concerns those who are now living. It is a burning issue of the relatives living now who are not sure whether those who disappeared definitely died during the war.

It should not be the issue for the group that is presently ruling whether those who are living or missing are Tamils , Muslims or Sinhalese. In the  circumstances , the present government must address this issue from the standpoint of those who are presently living and in grief , with a view to redress  their woes,  without getting itself too overwound   on behalf of an individual and with his rights who is going to be an accused  henceforth . 

Those who disappeared went missing in the recent past and are not of  the ‘future’. If the government is to search for only those who go missing in the future ? Is that   an index it is anticipating disappearances on a mass scale in the future ?

The relatives living  in the North have been  staging a fast for the last over 200 days demanding that some statement be issued  regarding the missing persons. Though the government officials began a search as soon as the fast was commenced , nothing is heard or nothing is being done about it  now. 

Following P.M.’s announcement , it will be a matter for surprise if these relatives who are  staging the fast upon realizing  they have been fooled by the government  do not commit suicide . This is because their relatives have gone missing during the past and not in the ‘ future’. This announcement is most rudely shocking because 80% of them cast their votes for this government to  install it in power. When the  80 % voters voted  for this government , didn’t they among other hopes think the new ‘godhead ’ would find for them their lost relatives or at least furnish an answer ?   Hence , hasn’t this statement of P.M. devastated their entire hopes , and the temple they built for this godhead is  now crumbling ?

Cannot get emotional …

Though politicians can have emotions, this decision should be arrived at by the rulers  without  getting  emotional .  Or , it may be like  a decision based on government ‘s policies That is, if all those over 55 years old must go on pension   , it means even  those who can work must go on pension at the age of 55. As citizens nothing can be done against that . 

This decision is  one like that because a search for missing persons of  a 30 years old war  cannot be concluded even in a 100 years. Moreover ,  today , it is only KP who is among the living of the leaders of LTTE which was  mostly responsible for the disappearances.  In any event today , it is the group whose  members in large numbers  fell  victims  should be given  consideration. Many in that group  are relatives of those  who went missing after they surrendered to the forces following  the conclusion of the war.

Based on the evidence in the  possession of Lanka  e news , about 1500 of those who surrendered , on the orders of Gotabaya were later taken away , and there is no record of what happened to them thereafter. Recently former army commander Sarath Fonseka who fought the war said , he is prepared to give evidence if necessary against Jagath Jayasuriya because the latter is answerable for those crimes.
 
Those disappearances did not occur during the war, but after the war ended on  2009-05-19 . LeN journalist, Prageeth  Ekneliyagoda went missing after the war. If truly the government is concerned about its citizens and acts more responsibly towards them , at least it could have made the new law operative from the day following the conclusion of the war.
 
Yet the government did not choose that direction. According to the P.M.,  investigations into forced disappearances  will relate only to those crimes committed  after October 2017. However the members of the Commission have still not been named.  Therefore , if  the citizens entertain the view that the government is indirectly protecting criminals of the Rajapakse era , they cannot be blamed. 

Let us forget they are Tamils for a moment …

Let us forget they are Tamils for the moment and  focus on the Sinhalese...

An elderly couple nearly 90 years old , living  in Pamunugama , Maharagama is known to the writer.  It was the family of late J. R. Jayawardena who were  the pet customers of the tailoring shop of this old man sewing coat and trousers only, at Slave Island. He was a staunch UNP er. His young son in the mid eighties became  a naval officer and was at  the battle front. He served as an engineering officer of the first Dora craft. The LTTE suicide squad attacked the Dora craft and sank it off the sea of Eastern province. 

The youth’s body was not found. The old couple for over 20 years entertained the belief that their son was captured by the LTTE , and were nursing hopes he would return. They cleaned the room of their son and kept the bed neat and ready daily thinking the son would return that day or next. Every new year they painted his room and adorned it with new curtains hoping he would at least arrive on the new year day. As the LTTE was getting defeated day by day , their hopes too began to grow that  their son would suddenly make his appearance. Finally the LTTE was fully  defeated , yet their son  did not return. Even today the old couple even for a moment does not think their son died.
 
That was a Sinhalese son who went  missing.  This elderly couple is of the opinion that KP who is now among the living is responsible for the disappearance of their son. Hence the  pronouncement made by P.M. recently only creates the impression in the minds of the citizens that  not only the Rajapakse criminals but even the LTTE criminals are being  protected. 

The new government should not  seek to go on its political journey after sweeping all these under the rug. Instead of that , the government must show  greater sympathy  and sincerity towards  the  citizens. If the government is not probing into the disappearances of the past , at least it should expeditiously fulfill the other  promises it made  on behalf of the victims.
 
There is nothing barring the government from paying compensation to the victims which was promised by it. There is nothing impeding the implementation of  the truth Commission it promised. By those actions at least the bitter feelings and abysmal  sufferings of those who are grieving can be minimized. Yet , it seems the government is only interested in doing lip service without trying to practically do something on their behalf. 

The pledges made by the government during the presidential elections in its 100 days program  were as follows :

29. A special protection scheme to those belonging to   all  sections of the people   who became  widows  consequent upon the war ,  and their dependents 
93. As Sri Lanka has not signed the Rome covenant which  established the International court for war crimes , if there are war crime charges , those shall be tried by an independent court in SL with a view to administer justice (   a new country in 100 days – 2014-12-19)  . 

The pledges made by the government in this connection at the General elections…

 ‘The war which  commenced in 1983 ended  in 2009. Yet we have still failed as a country to establish true reconciliation. Hence the new government shall without any delay act to expunge the animosities    , and mete out justice to those who   suffered by finding solutions to their woes (UNP manifesto – reconciliation – 2015 07-23).’ 

Sadly ,  all these are wordy promises only  not translated to deed. According to the recent revelation of the Commission relating to the missing persons established belatedly or on the pressures of international community, no relief had been provided to any citizen .

Wheels are in motion but train is on wrong track !

After a government is installed in power it is bound to fulfill the aspirations of those forces that propelled it to victory. Sadly that is precisely what the good governance government has not done.  The government while  marginalizing its own agenda , is kowtowing to  the people discarded Rajapakses and their threats, and acting in a manner that is serving  their needs.
 
Owing to this effeminate and cowardly conduct , the good governance government is being roundly castigated not by the opponents but by the very forces  which elected it to power.

Leaders Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe may be of the view that the train they are in is moving ,simply because the wheels are in motion , while the train is on the wrong track.   Whereas we who are watching from the platform  can notice  the derailment much better. Both the leaders who got on  the train are unaware  that they are only  moving off the track .The more they think they are travelling ahead , the more  they are moving away from the original destination.
 
When Maithri and Ranil say , ‘only those who go missing in the future’ will be considered  ignoring their solemn pledges made to the people , it is only their political future that is missing  the target .  This is because that enunciation is hurting the feelings of the minorities most viciously, and is being  most rejected by them.

It is the leaders of the dominant race who by not fulfilling the hopes of the minorities from time to time paved the way for the 30 years old guerilla war . What Dudley and Bandaranaike did to Chelvanayagam then,  Maithri and Ranil are doing  today to Sampanthan which means the future is going to be bleak.

One truth stands out  pertaining to the measures taken by the two  leaders to investigate the missing persons. If the description  ‘consensual government’ is a synonym for ingratitude , certainly  that is the best description befitting this government. We say this because we were also victims  who suffered from the disappearance syndrome. 

By Sandaruwan Senadheera

Chief editor  - Lanka e News. 
Translated by Jeff 

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by     (2017-09-20 00:34:40)

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Of the numbers thirty five, sixty eight, 98, 54 or 93, which is the highest?

  3 discussion on this news

All the happenings taking place today point to the fact that the criminals of the past regime will never be brought to justice under the present rulers who are as much or more corrupt than their predecessors. They know that their crimes will be investigated the day those people come to power. It is a matter of scratching each other's back. Only the hapless public have to bear losses created b these people.
-- by Peter on 2017-09-20

LeN - These two rogues are also slimy, just like our former King and his clan. Sri Lanka would be better off under foreign rule. Makes no difference whether it is MY3/Ranilpaksha/Rajafucksha-Tsunami Hora!
-- by Shiranthi Pusee on 2017-09-20

Now its clear who ruling the country - its same set of rogues with a different name. There is no point going to the UN and preaching justice, when you don't have the basic loyalty to the public who voted for you. Their only objective is to save the criminals in which ever form they. All civilized countries should ban visas for these crooked rulers and their immediate families as there is no accountability mechanism in this uncivilized country.
-- by Don Soma on 2017-09-21

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